Wednesday, February 20, 2013
A lawyer for former Sen. Jamby Madrigal said Wednesday/Feb. 20 the senatorial candidate was prepared to apologize to the Commissions on Elections (Comelec) and to the Filipino voters if a promotional campaign run by her volunteers on the Internet was proven to have violated election laws.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Liberal Party-led Team PNoy commended the Comelec for doing its job in monitoring the conduct of the campaign of individual candidates and for promptly calling the attention of Madrigal on the matter.
Madrigal’s lawyer, Ernesto Francisco, told a regular press briefing that the former senator “has no intentions of violating the election law” and that she “would be the last person to violate any elections law.”
“Sen. Madrigal’s social media campaign is being run by young volunteers. When she heard about the incident, she immediately instructed her volunteers to immediately remove it,” Francisco said.
Francisco said he was “not sure” whether the promo has violated any election law, noting that the social media landscape is “an unexplored terrain” when it comes to election campaign in the Philippines.
“Sen. Madrigal apologizes to the Comelec for what the volunteers must have done. She wants to assure the Comelec and the public that such incident will not be repeated. From here on, she will make sure that her campaign team will follow the elections law,” Francisco said.
“We are in the process of investigating what really happened. Maybe the ones running the social media campaign where the ones who thought of this scheme. We would like to know all details and where the iPad came from,” Francisco said. “This is like a political gimmick that comes out in any election,” he said.
Former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, a spokesman for the Team PNoy, said there were initial reservations on whether the Comelec was “capable of monitoring” the campaign of the candidates.
Saying that the allegations against Sen. Madrigal have “no effect” on their candidates, Tañada said the Comelec should be “commended for showing that it is trying its best” to monitor election campaigning.
“We have to encourage the Comelect to continue the monitoring of the campaigns of candidates. This is the way candidates are reminded of elections laws,” Tañada told the same press briefing.
“We, at Team PNoy, always remind our candidates that they should try their best to comply with the rules and election laws in the country. What should be done is to reach out to the ground troops that they should comply with elections laws, but there are instances that volunteers in different areas have different initiatives. We need to tell them that there are elections laws to be followed,” Tañada said.
MANILA, February 20, 2013-“There has been no change in the relationship between the Liberal Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). It remains strong and fully supportive of Team PNoy.”
Liberal Party spokesman Rep. Erin Tañada made this clear during a media briefing Wednesday/Feb. 20, as he debunked reports that the team-up of the two parties was on the verge of collapse.
Tañada said the NPC, through its spokesman, Rep.Rex Gatchalian, has issued a statement emphasizing that it intends to continue its partnership with the ruling Liberal Party and that it duty-bound to support its candidates in all levels.
“For us, that is enough,” Tañada said.
Tañada was reacting to published reports quoting a key NPC official as saying that the party will only support three members of the LP-led administration ticket.
In his statement, Gatchalian explained that NPC leader Mark Cojuangco' statements were taken out of context when he revealed his sentiments on the progress of the partnership between the two parties.
“We would like to stress that the NPC leadership and its members are fully supporting the leadership of President Aquino and we have no intention of walking out of that commitment,” Gatchalian said in the statement.
Gatchalian added that he’s sorry to disappoint the rumor mongers “but it remains as solid as ever and is 100 percent behind the partnership.